state of ohio in the court of common pleas ) ss

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state of ohio in the court of common pleas ) ss
STATE OF OHIO IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
) SS:
CUYAHOGA COUNTY) CASE NO. CR-05-470184-A
STATE OF OHIO
Plaintiff
vs.
OPINION
DR. ELSEBETH BAUMGARTNER
Defendant
Shirley Strickland Saffold, J:
This multifaceted case contains complex issues, yet all are readily disposed of with few
distinctions from one another. In all of these cases, Ms. Baumgartner intentionally and maliciously
engaged in criminal contact with officers of the Court and others. Based on her criminal conduct,
the Court finds her guilty in each one of these cases.
The defendant, Ms. Baumgartner, personally and through counsel, has consistently argued
that her actions are a matter of free speech protected under the First Amendment of the United
States Constitution. Anyone in the presence of Ms. Baumgartner gets a highly tendentious version
of her free speech contentions. Without arriving at a conclusion concerning the nature of her verbal
allegations, accusations and character assassinations, this Court understands the prosecutor's
contentions that untrue speech is never protected speech. While this Court acknowledges that both
parties have engaged in heated debates about what should be the disposition of the defendant's
statements, this Court chooses to focus primarily on the defendant's actual criminal conduct and
sees no reason to address a speech component.
The defendant entered pleas under Crim. R. 11(9), no contest in a felony case, and was
found guilty on counts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12. Counts 10 and 13 were held in abeyance,
which allowed this Court to review the defendant's statements along with her actual conduct. After
review of all evidence and testimony presented in this Court, defendant is found guilty on both
counts 10 and 13 as well. Counts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11 all charge a violation of O.R.C.
§2921.04 and §2921.03, which involve the crime of intimidation. A threat of physical harm was
not required. State v. Lutz, Cuyahoga App. No. 80201, 2003 Ohio 275, at p. 53. In this case, the
Court found that there was sufficient evidence to support an intimidation conviction where the
defendant wrote a letter threatening to publish information that a crime victim was involved in
illegal activity. The court found that the threat was made to intimidate the victim and prevent him
from pressing charges against the defendant. In the case at hand, defendant used threatening emails
and phone calls to intimidate Judge Markus from completing his job duties without fear that his
children could be harmed.
This Court carefully reviewed the conduct of Ms. Baumgartner, where she instituted a
practice of filing civil allegations against Honorable Judge Markus. These smarmy complaints
were never accompanied with a request for service on Judge Markus. Instead of seeking service
on Judge Markus, Ms. Baumgartner would either contact Judge Markus personally or make a copy
of her complaint, to be delivered to him, for the sole purpose of intimidating him. The timing,
method and purpose of giving Judge Markus a copy of these documents on the eve of defendant's
scheduled court dates clearly and without any reasonable doubt were completed in such a manner
for the sole purpose to intimidate Judge Markus and to stifle justice in this manner.
-2-
This Court further acknowledges the email sent to Bryan DuBois, an original co-defendant,
where Ms. Baumgartner indicated an interest in Judge Markus's children. Ms. Baumgartner is one
to bloviate. This was an attempt to once again intimidate Judge Markus. Such language and intent
contained in this email has a clear intent to intimidate Judge Markus when referencing his own
children.
Ms. Baumgartner engaged in a series of attacks. She verbally, via email and actual common
man attacks, referred to many named judges in despicable, untrue and vicious terms. While the
State of Ohio argues that false speech is never protected speech, this Court sees no value in
addressing this false speech made by defendant, despite Ms. Baumgartner's belief she has provided
strong arguments in support of her theories. These rants are dismissed as bunkum. Instead, this
Court addresses the conduct defendant chose to partake in, acts that clearly constitute and satisfy
the necessary elements of such criminal acts listed above, for which she has been found guilty.
SHIRLEY STRICIIWD SAFFOLD, JUDGE
DATE: December 18, 2006

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